Grill Your Avocados For A Smoky Upgrade To Your Guacamole

When the craving for fresh guacamole strikes, it's easy to mash up some avocados, lime, salt, and chopped cilantro. But if you're firing up the grill at the same time, try this super quick way to seamlessly upgrade your basic guacamole recipe and add a little smokiness: Simply throw those avocados on the grill grates.

To make a grilled rendition, simply char the halved fruit until the surface develops some darker color and the flesh begins to soften. Though cooked avocados can get a bad rap for developing a bitter flavor, when they're delicately seared over indirect medium heat on the barbecue, the fruit's sweetness remains. 

Instead of becoming bitter or mushy (like what can happen if you try to sauté or microwave it), grilled avocado will take on a light, caramelized taste with a pleasantly charred depth. And, when seared gently, avocados develop an even creamier texture too. This makes it perfect for mashing up with other smoky or spicy game-changing guacamole ingredients like cumin and chili flakes.

How to prepare avocados on the grill

To give your avocados the grilling treatment that will result in a delicious dip, start by picking fruit with optimal ripeness. It's important not to grill avocados that are borderline or past their prime, since they'll soften further on the grill. Instead, choose those that are just soft enough that they give in slightly upon squeezing.

When your grill is ready, slice your avocados in half then immediately brush them with some citrus juice (lemon or lime are great) to avoid any exterior browning. Next, drizzle on a generous amount of olive or vegetable oil to prevent the fruit from sticking to the grill. Finally, season simply with salt and pepper.

Grill avocados flesh down on the grates for just three to four minutes, or until the fruit softens and the surface begins to develop some nice char marks. This process will be quick, and you don't want to overcook them at risk of getting blackened fruit that tastes bitter. Instead, sear the avocados lightly and remove them from the grill to cool before mashing them into a velvety spread that has a deliciously smoky hint.

More tips for flavorful guacamole with a grilled twist

In addition to grilling your avocados, you can also get creative with other ingredient mix-ins to make a seriously impressive guacamole for your next grill-out (or any occasion for that matter). If you're one to grill everything you have in sight, use this as an opportunity to add some lemons or limes on the grates, and then squeeze them into the dip. You could also grill red onions or roast garlic over the flame, then chop the alliums up into fine pieces, which will amplify those charred, caramelized flavors. 

You could also take inspiration from mango salsa and cook up some of the other best fruits for grilling, before tossing seared pieces into your guacamole. Play around with spice levels by adding in chili powder, smoked paprika, or grilling seasoning blends. Or, scorch jalapeños for seriously smoky and spicy heat. And of course, if it's too cold out to even think about grilling (or if you don't have a grill), you can also broil avocados in the oven to give them an extra creaminess and sweet complexity.